What are the most common types of cancer that require early screening?

cancers that require early screening

What are the most common types of cancer that require early screening?

Although among the most common causes of death worldwide, the chances of treatment outcome and survival increase with early detection. If most types of cancer are detected at the pre-symptomatic stage with the help of regular screening, the prognosis is good.

In this blog post, we will do a deep dive into some of the most common cancers, in need of early screening in Bangalore, India, and translate into better health management for you.

The Importance of Early Detection in Bangalore

Fast-growing metropolis Bangalore will only reflect this national trend, according to the National Institute of Health (ICMR), Cases of cancer are going to touch the 2.26 million mark by the year 2020. The key is early detection.

Those that have well-developed screening mostly grow slowly and are detectable at their early stage of development. Most of the early developing cancers are small in size and, therefore, have not metastasized to other body parts, hence making it easy for easier less-invasive intervention with higher possibilities of success.

So, here is the break-up for some general cancers that require early screening in Bangalore, along with the risk and screening recommendations:

  • Breast Cancer: The most common cancer amongst women in India, breast cancer accounts for almost 1/4th of all cancers diagnosed amongst women. The risk factors for this include age (over 40), a family history of breast cancer, genetic mutations of some genes (BRCA1 & BRCA2), dense breast tissue, and some hormonal factors. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, a woman should have mammograms each year starting at the age of 40 (or 45 for average risk in the US) and continue for as long as she is in good health. Equally important is clinical breast exams by a doctor.


  • Cervical Cancer: Cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and highly preventable through vaccination. The prevalence of this cancer is far less than breast cancer, but it unreasonably afflicts young women. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) sets the start of cervical cancer screening at 21 years, using a Pap smear test. After a certain age (30 or 33, according to the test carried out), it is possible to add HPV testing to the Pap test for a more complete screening.


  • Colorectal cancer: The second most common type of cancer in both men and women; risk factors include old age (above 50 years), family history, and some inflammatory diseases of the intestine. Lifestyle factors such as smoking and obesity expose both men and women to additional risks. The American Cancer Society recommends that average-risk persons start screening at 45. This may involve colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or just stool testing.


  • Lung Cancer: The leading cause of cancer death worldwide, lung cancer is primarily linked to smoking. However, secondhand smoke or other environmental factors can expose even non-smokers to the risks of lung cancer.

USPSTF recommends lung cancer screening with LDCT every year for:

An adult aged 50-80 years who has a 20 pack-year smoking history and who currently smokes or has quit within the past 15 years. Important, that such routine lung cancer screening is far from the recommended medical practice for mass populations like India. Discuss your risk factors with the doctor.

Early Detection Strategies Beyond Standard Screenings

While these established screening methods are crucial, it’s important to be aware of your body and report any unusual changes to your doctor. This includes:

  • Lumps or bumps anywhere on the body
  • Changes in bowel or bladder habits
  • Unusual bleeding or discharge
  • Persistent cough or hoarseness
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Changes in skin moles or persistent sores

Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle for Comprehensive Prevention

Early detection is vital, but a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer in the first place. Here are some key strategies:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity is a risk factor for several cancers.
  • Eat a balanced diet: Focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting processed foods and red meat.
  • Exercise regularly: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol intake increases cancer risk.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer.
  • Get vaccinated: The HPV vaccine protects against cervical cancer and some other cancers.


What if I have a family history of cancer?

Having a family member with cancer increases your risk, but it doesn’t mean you will develop the disease. Talk to your doctor about your specific risk factors and appropriate screening strategies. They may recommend starting screenings earlier or more frequent follow-ups.

Are there any risks associated with screenings?

While most screenings are very safe, there can be some potential downsides. For example, mammograms involve low-dose radiation exposure. It’s important to discuss the benefits and risks of any screening test with your doctor to make an informed decision.

Can I rely solely on screenings for cancer prevention?

Screenings are a powerful tool for early detection, but they are not foolproof. It’s crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle and be aware of any changes in your body. Early detection often begins with self-awareness and seeking medical attention promptly.


Early detection is the cornerstone of successful cancer treatment. By understanding the most common cancers requiring screening in Bangalore and taking a proactive approach to your health, you can empower yourself to fight this disease. Remember, early detection saves lives. 

Schedule an appointment with your doctor today to discuss your individual risk factors and a personalized screening plan. What steps can you take today to prioritize your health and well-being?

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